A "Handy" Way to Measure the Sky

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A "Handy" Way to Measure the Sky

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Similar to how a road map can tell you the distance between cities, a sky map can tell you the distance between stars—not actual distance, but their apparent distance, or separation, from each other. Astronomers measure the separation (“angular distance”) between objects in the sky using degrees.

Finding your way in the night sky is easier when you know how to measure angular distances in degrees. Your hands are all you need! Learn how, and then try the challenges, such as covering the Moon with just a finger, finding the North Star, and figuring out your latitude.